Art Spotlight: Barbarian

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In Art Spotlight, we invite Sketchfab artists to talk about one of their designs.

Hi, everybody!

I am Tosh, a game artist from Taiwan. It’s my pleasure to have the opportunity to demonstrate the character (model) “Barbarian” from the initial inspiration and the working process to the final work.

I enjoy creating in-game stuffs. Most of them are low-polygon models with hand-painted textures in Asian or Japanese style which mostly created for work. However, I always want to challenge different styles like League of Legends, Darksiders and World of Warcraft.

My 2D concept

For more references, I did the research by surfing on Pinterest and several individual portfolio websites.

Basically, I used four rules for creating this in-game character.

  • Non-complex structure, so that I could focus on coloring texture and building the main shapes.
  • Minimum polygon number: 4k- 4.5k tris
  • No alpha
  • One 1024×1024 px diffuse texture.

The four rules can help me to keep it in the in-game work system.

My final wireframe

Without alpha, it was much harder to cut out the smooth line and shape. In this case, such as hair, fur and clothes were the most difficult part to deal with.

To make it easier, I decimated the low-poly model to an amount of triangles which could optimize shapes and saved polygon numbers.
However, the model was still around 4,700 tris. A little bit more than I thought.

UV Unwrapping

This was hard work. Yet I wasn’t satisfied with the layout since only 69% UV space was used! But I already spent too much time on this step, plus it was clear and easy understanding enough, so I decided to work on the next step, texturing.


The first process was to block out the areas by color. Just filling it with solid colors.

Paint on color transitions to create illusion of volume and space roughly. It helped me to define the geometry of this character.
This is one of the most important step. Because if there is no lighting, the result of this model would have to rely heavily on the diffuse.

Then I added more details and color transitions. Color transitions would give it dimensions, not only lightness but also hue and saturation.

To save polygons numbers, My strategy was focusing many details upon to texture painting! Hand-painted texture would perfectly does the trick!

I overlaid some gradient to emphasis on those important areas of the character. There is a very useful max script “Gradient Map”, which can generate a gradient texture by object space just by one click.

Then continue adding details… I adjusted the contrast, tried to push the volume and added some highlights.

Here’s a tip:the UVs of face part was snap by pixel unit, that can save UV space and easily get seamless textures.

And……here you go! This is the final model.

And then I created an axe for the character.

The final step was adding a outline for it. Just duplicate the mesh and set “push” modifier to make it a little bit bigger. Give the duplicated mesh a black material and then reverse it.

Ta-da! Here is my final rendered result!

For more renders, you can check out my ArtStation post.

I’m so glad having the chance to share my creating process with everyone. Thanks for your reading and hope you enjoy it!

Thanks Tosh!

About the author


Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.

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